TSX pushes higher on upbeat outlook

Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:52pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Monday as optimism for a global economic recovery next year helped power shares of energy producer Canadian Natural Resources and its peers.

Shares of Canadian Natural rose 2.3 percent to C$72.95, while EnCana Corp rallied 2.6 percent to close at C$33.22.

The rise by energy issues came as investors opted to place bets that commodity prices will continue to rally in 2010 as the global recovery prompts more demand for oil.

"We're finally beginning to see signs of optimism about the recovery in the global economy," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"And this is some last-minute buying ahead of the holidays as investors are beefing up their portfolios in anticipation of a decent year next year."

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 91.32 points, or 0.82 percent, to close at 11,554.72.

The gain in the broader index was also driven by other key sectors like financials.

Royal Bank of Canada, the biggest contributor to the index's gain, rose 1.8 percent to C$55.79, while Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 1.6 percent at C$64.87.

With just two full trading days left before investors take off for Christmas and New Year holidays, the TSX could notch further gains. It is now up 54.5 percent from the five-year low it skidded to in March.

The market will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, December 24.

<p>A Bay Street sign is seen in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>